Evaluation of principal cannabinoids in airborne particulates.Anal Chim Acta. 2009 May 08; 641(1-2):89-94.AC
The determination of delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta9-THC), cannabidiol (CND) and cannabinol (CNB), primary active components in cannabis preparation, was carried out on airborne particulates by applying a specific procedure consisting of soot extraction by ultrasonic bath, purification by solvent partitioning, derivatization with N-(t-butyldimethylsilyl)-N-methyl-trifluoroacetamide, and separation/detection through gas chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. The optimized procedure was found suitable for measuring the three psychotropic substances at concentrations ranging from ca. 0.001 to ca. 5.0 ng cm(-3) of air, with recoveries always higher than 82%, accuracy >7.3% and precision >90%. Application of the procedure performed on field in Rome and Bari, Italy, demonstrated that all three compounds contaminate the air in Italian cities whereas in Algiers, Algeria, only cannabinol, the most stable in the atmosphere, exceeded the limit of quantification of the method. The relative percentages of the three cannabinoids in general reproduced those typical of the Cannabis sativa plant and were very different from those found in human blood, urine and sweat.